Over the weekend, partner Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell and I attended the Writers' Police Academy, an annual event intended to give writers the grounding and hands-on experience they need to realistically portray police work (or at least to make it look realistic). It was held at the almost brand-new and spectacular Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center near Appleton WI.
In some ways, it was a college flashback--sitting in a classroom, taking lecture notes. But unlike college, there were no boring classes. And in college, I didn't get to shoot bad guys (and/or decide not to shoot them, when appropriate) or do crime scene photography, as we did at WPA.
The classes we took included (list swiped from Marcy's post):
- Crime Lab (Fingerprinting 101)
- From Crime Scene to Autopsy
- An Insider's View to the World of Women in Law Enforcement - Interview and Interrogation
- The Mindset of Cops
- Forensic Art and Witness Recall
- Overview of Forensic Psychology
- Crime Scene Photography (hands-on)
- MILO (Military integrated laser operations) Simulator (where we shot the bad guys)
We got to see author and ex-cop Robin Burcell, an old friend, and finally got to meet Katherine Ramsland, with whom I've corresponded off and on for years but had never met in person. Most of the teachers are professionals in their various fields, or have been professionals but are now teaching full-time.
The brains behind the whole shebang is Lee Lofland, and we very much appreciate his year-round efforts to make sure it's always a success. Here's a picture of me doing my MILO shooting, from Lee's blog.
Classes are different every year, so I'm sure we'll be heading back as soon as we can!
Larceny Lori fires back. The Spill & Rob gas station is in the
near background, with the center's airplane behind it.
Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton. There was a big art event
going on. In the building behind this, a very cool Norman Rockwell exhibit was on.